Sweater weather has never looked so sexy. Normal People’s Paul Mescal appears in the November issue of GQ wearing lots of stylish knits, bold shirts and, of course, a chain.
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The 24-year-old actor reveals his thoughts on the much buzzed-about accessory from the hit BBC series in the accompanying interview, admitting that he doesn’t quite understand the hype.
“It wasn’t something that we put any focus on during filming,” he told the publication. “I think there has been a kind of leaning on the sexualizing of it, which has been a little bit difficult to adjust to. I don’t really have a response to it, because I don’t know what to say other than it’s a chain, and it’s a chain that’s referenced in the book, and it’s a chain that Connell wears. It’s not something I lie in bed thinking about at night.”
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In fact, the sexualization surrounding the obsession even bothers him a bit. “It’s not something that I try to lean into,” he explained. “But I put it down to the audience’s associations with Connell rather than with me.”
He even uses the draw to his advantage. While the original necklace he gifted his co-star Daisy Edgar-Jones, he auctioned off his own, similar one to raise $70,000 euros for an Irish suicide-prevention organization.
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When the show first blew up back in May, he told BBC Radio 1 that he couldn’t believe the response the silver necklace was getting. “It’s slightly terrifying. I’d be slightly embarrassed if the chain account took over my follower count,” he joked at the time. “But it’s probably going to happen at some time so I better just reconcile that fact, that the chain will always be more popular than I am.”
This turned out not to be true. Not only does the breakout star now have a million followers on Instagram (compared to the chain’s 187,000) but he even earned an Emmy nomination for his role. So don’t worry Mescal, things are looking up for your future beyond the chain.
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